Laura Sarti

In this interview Laura Sarti discusses her musical childhood in Trieste and her experience of the war years in Egypt. She speaks about singing for the troops, before discussing how she came to England after the war and singing with Cambridge opera in the late 40s.

Laura then shares her experience of joining the Glyndebourne Chorus in the 1950s, studying with Emmy Heim, meeting Ilse Wolf and Helene Isepp, as well as working with Paul Hamburger and having lessons with Lucy Manen.

Laura also speaks about her performances as part of the Benvenuto Duo with Claire Walmesley, and discusses working with the early music expert Walter Bergmann. Finally, she tells us about working with Carl Ebert and Peter Gellhorn at Glyndebourne, and singing as a soloist for Scottish Opera.


Laura Sarti, mezzo-soprano, was born in Trieste, Northern Italy. Her family emigrated to Egypt during the Second World War, from where she moved to Britain. Here she began vocal studies with Emmy Heim and Lucy Manen. Her operatic career began at Glyndebourne where she was chosen by Maestro Gui for the role of 'Berta' in a production and EMI recording of The Barber of Seville. Laura also sang the role of 'Messaggera' in the Erato recording of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo which was awarded the International Disc Prize.

A founder cast member of Scottish Opera and Kent Opera, she also appeared at the Wexford, Bregenz and Aix-en-Provence International Festivals encompassing over thirty roles. Her extensive broadcasting experience included de Falla’s La Vida Breve with Margaret Price in the first BBC colour television opera.

A noted recitalist both in her own right and as part of the 'Benvenuto Duo' (which she formed together with the soprano Claire Walmesley and accompanist Paul Hamburger), she built a reputation for innovative recital design. A professor and Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama since the 1970s, she has developed an international reputation as a teacher and regularly gives masterclasses in Britain, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany and Ireland.

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